7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.  This does not effect you in any way.  However, if you make a purchase through this link, I receive a very small commission.

I’ll be honest, the first time I saw task cards I thought they were only for elementary students.  They started popping up different places and I saw that some high school teachers were using them too.  So, I decided that I would try them.  I’m always up for trying something new.  As strange as it may sound, my students are much more willing to work on task cards, rather than a worksheet.  I think it is because they aren’t overwhelmed by a huge list of problems.

I decided that today I would share a list of ways I’ve used them in my classroom.  Hopefully, you can find some ideas that could be useful for you!

Want ideas about how to use task cards for middle school and high school math?  These free activities, games, and ideas will keep your students engaged!

1.  Stations - Before class, tape task cards around the room.  Students get a recording sheet or use scratch paper and move around the room answering the questions.  Students can choose to work alone or with a partner.  My students really like stations because it gets them moving around.  My stations mazes are an adaptation of this idea.

2.  Seatwork - Spread task cards out on a table (or a desk, the floor...).  Students pick a card, work on it, then put it back and get a new one when they are finished.  After a certain amount of time, go over the answers as a class. This works very well for me when I use task cards with QR codes.  This way, the students can work at their own pace.

Ideas for Task Cards in the Secondary Classroom - Seatwork

3.  Quiz, Quiz, Trade - This is a Kagan cooperative learning strategy.  Give each student a task card and they do the problem on their card.  Then, the students partner up.  Partner 1 asks the question on their card.  Partner 2 answers (they are allowed to say “I don’t know”).  Then, Partner 1 praises the correct answer or explains the problem.  Then the students reverse roles.  When both questions have been asked, the students trade cards, find new partners, and begin the process again.  This works best for me if I only have them do this for about 10-15 minutes (depending on the length of the problem).

4.  Bellwork - Have students work on 1 or 2 cards as their bellwork.

5.  Whiteboarding - Each student gets a whiteboard and a dry erase marker.  I love Quartet Dry Erase Markers for student use.  They have a fine tip and last a long time.  Project a task card and have the students work the problem on their whiteboard.  When they have finished the problem they hold up their board so that you can see their answer.  This works best for me if I do it for about 15 minutes.

6.  Jeopardy - Play Jeopardy.  Use task cards for the questions.

7.  Speed Mathing - This is like speed dating, but with math and school appropriate.  Arrange desks in two rows (like speed dating).  Each student receives a card, works the problem on the card and checks their answer.  Then, the students trade cards with their partner sitting across from them and work the problem on their new card.  They are now sitting across from the “expert” for that problem.  After a few minutes, the students receive their original cards again and one row moves one seat down.  This process continues until all of the cards are completed.

7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom - Secondary Style :)

Task cards are great and keep my kids engaged.  If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend it!  If you don't have time to make your own, I have several sets in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You could also must write problems on notecards.